October 13, 2017 brianradio2016

Video: Your iPhone X or iPhone 8 won’t charge fast unless you buy this for it

With the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, Apple has changed the way that you carry out a forced restart, enter recovery mode, and enter DFU mode.

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Must read: Here’s why your old iPhone feels slow — and what you can do about it

On the iPhone 7 you pressed the volume down button at the same time as the sleep/wake button to restart the handset. However, if you try this on the iPhone 8 you’ll get quite a surprise because this will activate the Emergency SOS mode, and just before the handset makes a call to the emergency services it emits several ear-piercing siren blasts!

So how do you force a restart?

With the iPhone 8 you have to tap the volume up button followed by tapping the volume down button (a tap means pressing and then letting go), and then you press and hold the side button (Apple’s new name for the sleep/wake button) until you see the Apple logo on the screen.

Yes, that is long-winded, and can be hard to pull off if you have an iPhone 8 Plus or small hands. I suggest putting the iPhone down on a table to do this.

But what about entering recovery mode?

To do this first plug a Lightning cable into the iPhone that’s connected to a PC or Mac running iTunes. Now you tap the volume up button followed by tapping the volume down button, then you press and hold the side button and keep pressing when you see the Apple logo on the screen and don’t let go until you see the connect to iTunes logo appear.

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DFU (Device Firmware Upgrade) mode is even more long-winded to get into. Again, start by connecting the iPhone to a PC or Mac running iTunes. Now you tap the volume up button followed by tapping the volume down button, then you press and hold the side button for 10 seconds, at this point press and hold the volume down button without letting go of the side button for another 5 seconds, after which point you release the side button and continue holding the volume down button for another 10 seconds. The goal is to get the device into a state where the screen is black (no Apple or iTunes logo) and iTunes identifies the iPhone as being in recovery mode.

To get out of recovery mode or DFU mode you basically carry out a restart, so you tap the volume up button followed by tapping the volume down button, and then you press and hold the side button until you see the Apple logo on the screen.

See also:

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October 13, 2017 brianradio2016

This is probably the cheapest price you’re going to pay right now for these bulbs. At $49.97 for a 4-pack, you’re paying $12.49 per bulb. A very solid discount over the typical list price. Automate your lighting experience with Philips Hue and control your lights from home or away. Create light schedules from the Philips Hue App and never come home to a dark house. Install the LED lights as you would install ordinary bulbs and pair them with the Hue Bridge, which allows you to control smart-bulb-equipped lamps and overhead lights via the Philips Hue App. The box includes four Philips Hue White A19 Energy Star Certified Standard light bulbs, a manual, and a two-year warranty. See this deal now on Amazon.

This story, “Get 4 Philips Hue White A19 60W Dimmable LED Smart Bulbs for just $50 – Deal Alert” was originally published by TechConnect.

October 13, 2017 brianradio2016

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Apple did a marvelous job migrating macOS from Motorola 68000 chips to Power PC and then to Intel x86. With the amazing success of Apple’s ARM-based A series chips, speculation arises that they will do it again.

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But that misunderstands the dynamics driving Apple’s business. Sure, Apple would like to avoid paying the Intel x86 tax. But, just as in real life, taxes are rarely the business driver that politicians pretend they are.

Apple is playing a longer game.

Push-pull

Looking back on Apple’s prior CPU migrations, they had both a technology push and a market pull. The 68000 family wasn’t keeping up with Intel, and IBM’s PowerPC promised to do that.

But then PowerPC couldn’t keep up with Intel and x86 performance either. In the meantime, Intel got rid of the many x86 architectural kludges that bedeviled the product — like the 640KB memory limit — which tech purists found distasteful.

At the same time, the success of the revamped Mac line, beginning with the iMac, created market pull. Apple execs could see that going with the dominant CPU would pay real business dividends, especially when Intel threw in sweeteners to get Apple to migrate.

Intel tax?

Apple dominates the high-end notebook market with excellent margins, partly because their hardware is of demonstrably higher quality. Since all of the competition pays the same prices as Apple does, Intel’s prices aren’t relevant to the Mac business. MacBooks compete against other x86 machines, so Intel’s prices simply ensure a level playing field.

There is simply no technology or marketing reason for Apple to migrate macOS from x86. I’m certain they could do it, but without a good reason, why would they?

What about iOS?

Apple’s long game is to grow the iOS business, and let customers decide which platform they prefer. Apple has been gradually making iOS more capable, and now iOS 11 can finally replace notebooks for many users, which for me came with the iOS 11 Files app.

Apple’s A series chips

At the same time Apple, who sells as many A-series processors as Intel sells PC CPUs, has been ramping up A-series performance. According to the Geekbench 4.0 benchmark, the A10 Bionic chip is competitive with the 13″ MacBook Pro 2.3 GHz dual core i5, and only falls noticeably behind the 2.8 Ghz quad core i7 in multicore performance.

Here’s the benchmarks, from the fine folks at Everymac.com.

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Geekbench 4.0 benchmark results

Courtesy Everymac.com

Graphics benchmarks tell a similar story. Apple’s graphics are competitive with Intel’s Iris graphics, and only fall far behind dedicated graphics cards found in higher end notebooks. And Apple only recently announced that they were designing their own graphics chips. Given their total control of the system stack, I expect them to do better than average in the future.

The iOS device cost advantage

It’s been popular for many years to decry a largely a largely illusory “Apple Tax”. But if you are on a budget, iPads allow you entry into the Apple ecosystem for a lot less money than MacBooks.

How much less? When I compared list prices for iPad Pros with Apple Smart Keyboards, against the MacBook and MacBook Pro with equivalent storage capacities, the iOS devices were anywhere from 14 to 34 percent less. And if you don’t need the latest and greatest, Apple’s 9.7″ iPad will save you hundreds more.

Of course, the configurations have significant differences, such as Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C, larger RAM capacities, touchscreens, cameras, and different upgrade options. But the point is that iOS devices offer a significantly lower entry cost than Macs.

The iOS software advantage

So you can save real money on iOS hardware. Yet the larger advantage of iOS are the software savings. Apple has sold a billion iOS devices, so developers can charge less and make it up in volume.

With over a million iPad apps available, there’s little you can’t do on an iPad, and for a lot less money. It’s a rare app that costs more than $50, and most Pro apps are under $20.

But what’s really great about the app selection is that there are well-done specialized apps for that are typically $5 or less. Want an app for generating professional video intros and extras? IntroMate has you covered. Need to automate workflows? Try Workflow — for free. Writing a novel? Scrivener has you covered.

The Storage Bits take

Apple has no reason to abandon Intel, so they won’t. And as the upcoming iMac Pros and the new Mac Pro arrive, we’ll see why. Intel’s many-core chips can do the heavy lifting that Pro users require, and that very few consumers need today.

By offering powerful iPad Pros, Apple is giving customers who work on their machines a choice — and an economic incentive to go all iOS. It also moves Apple into a lower price tier, without hurting the margins that allow them to make huge investments in chip design and other critical technologies.

That’s what guarantees that Apple, and iOS, will continue to move forward.

Courteous comments welcome, of course.

October 13, 2017 brianradio2016

Microsoft plans to offer customers a new restricted operating system, “Windows 10 Enterprise in S Mode,” in April or May 2018, according to a marketing director who recently walked IT professionals and developers through the product.

Windows 10 Enterprise in S Mode will be a locked-down operating system sibling to Windows 10 S, which Microsoft announced in May. But while the original 10 S has been tossed at the education market target, Enterprise in S Mode will, not surprisingly, be thrown at businesses.

In a 40-minute session at Ignite, the technology conference Microsoft hosted earlier this month in Orlando, Fla., Augusto Valdez, a director of product marketing in the Windows group, laid out Windows 10 Enterprise in S Mode.

“By the spring of 2018, around April or May of 2018, we’re going to have a Windows 10 Enterprise version in that [S] mode as well, that will take advantage of the enterprise capabilities that make sense into the S environment itself,” said Valdez. “It’s about having the best of Windows 10 S and the best of Windows 10 Enterprise in just one subscription package.”

October 13, 2017 brianradio2016

The software we run has never been more difficult to vouchsafe than it is today. It is scattered between local deployments and cloud services, built with open source components that aren’t always a known quantity, and delivered on a fast-moving schedule, making it a challenge to guarantee safety or quality.

The end result is software that is hard to audit, reason about, secure, and manage. It is difficult not just to know what a VM or container was built with, but what has been added or removed or changed and by whom. Grafeas, originally devised by Google, is intended to make these questions easier to answer.

What is Grafeas?

Grafeas is an open source project that defines a metadata API for software components. It is meant to provide a uniform metadata schema that allows VMs, containers, JAR files, and other software artifacts to describe themselves to the environments they run in and to the users that manage them. The goal is to allow processes like auditing the software used in a given environment, and auditing the changes made to that software, to be done in a consistent and reliable way.

Grafeas provides APIs for two kinds of metadata, notes and occurrences:

October 12, 2017 brianradio2016

Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform (UWP), an attempt to foster development of apps across multiple devices all running Windows 10, now supports the .Net Standard 2.0 specification for .Net unification.

But this move comes right after Microsoft revealed it was effectively pulling the plug on its Windows Mobile platform for smartphones, making Universal Windows apps less universal. In fact, Microsoft has been expanding support for Android and iOS in its various development tools as it effectively cedes the mobile market to Google and Apple.

UWP is still promised to support Windows 10 app development for PCs, the Xbox game console, and the HoloLens augmented-reality display.

The new UWP support for .Net Standard 2.0 comes through a set of APIs for all .Net platforms, which include .Net Framework 4.6.1, Mono 5.4, and Xamarin. UWP support for .Net Standard 2.0 brings it to parity with other .Net implementations.

October 12, 2017 brianradio2016

Even Pokemon Go wasn’t safe from Russian election-tampering efforts, CNN reports following an investigation into the pre-election activities of the Internet Research Agency. The investigation found the Kremlin-linked troll farm operated a Facebook page for a group called “Don’t Shoot Us” that purported to be part of the Black Lives…

October 12, 2017 brianradio2016

One of the first considerations for developers building mobile and web apps is how to handle account security, namely how they’re going to protect and authenticate their users and their data. The days where a username and password was sufficient to protect accounts are long behind us, and we’re reminded of this nearly every day in the form of large-scale breaches, high-profile account takeovers, or massive digital heists.

Adding stronger account security such as two-factor authentication (2FA) to your app is one of the simplest ways to increase security, protect users from cyberattacks, and build trust in your product, all while maintaining a smooth user experience.

This quick-start guides you through building a Node.js, AngularJS, and MongoDB application that restricts access to a URL. I’ll be demonstrating four methods of delivering 2FA: SMS, Voice, Soft Tokens and Push Notifications.

As with my previous tutorials, the first step is to create a free Twilio account if you haven’t already. If you have an existing Twilio account, simply sign in.

October 12, 2017 brianradio2016

Apple announced the third generation Apple Watch alongside new iPhones last month. What sets the Series 3 model apart from previous iterations is that it comes with the option to connect it to a cellular network, breaking the requirement to always have an iPhone nearby. On the surface, the Series 3 with cellular appears to be a minor update to the product lineup. However, after using it for a few weeks now, it’s changed a lot for me personally.

Design and performance

apple-watch-series-3-1.jpg Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

The Series 3 Apple Watch looks identical to its predecessors in every way, with the exception of the red dot on the digital crown. The dot is limited to just the Series 3 model with cellular connectivity, as it’s an indicator of the added connectivity.

As I mentioned after spending a weekend with the watch, I’d rather not have the colored digital crown. I feel like it’s calling attention to my wrist, in an almost boastful way.

CNET: Apple Watch Series 3, a dash of iPod and a bit of iPhone for your wrist

Red dot aside, the Series 3 still looks and feels like a quality watch. All of the previous Apple Watch bands are compatible, as are previous charging cables. I tested one of Speidel’s Twist-O-Flex bands which fits any Apple Watch and looks fantastic. It’s comfortable, stylish, and not nearly as expensive as Apple’s own metal band. My only advice to Speidel would be to make it easier to adjust the size of the band – it’s a chore.

Apple touts a speed increase thanks to a new processor, and the same battery life as the Series 2, or roughly 18 hours of use.

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I can’t say I’ve noticed a huge speed boost over the Series 2, but the battery life is better than Apple’s claim. With mixed-use, ranging from connected to my iPhone to standalone cellular connection, I have yet to experience a day where the battery was below 30-percent at the day’s end.

On one occasion, I spent over two hours using a cellular connection to monitor text messages and emails while playing with my kids in the ocean.

As for initial reviews indicating there was a serious issue with LTE connectivity on the Apple Watch Series 3, I’ve yet to experience any hiccups in service. Apple has since released an update to address the Wi-Fi issue that was causing the watch to disconnection for a cellular network, yet prior to that my watch worked just as it should.

Another aspect of the Series 3 I’ve grown fond of is the fact that Siri now talks to you through the watch’s speakers. Not having to stare at the screen for a simple request to see the answer means I can interact with Siri and continue completing a task without having to pause.

Peace of mind

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Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

While I occasionally go on long walks as a form of exercise, I’ve primarily used the cellular function of the Series 3 to stay connected while at the movies, or going into a restaurant; situations where staring at a phone isn’t ideal, and time is better used participating in a conversation.

Previously, my phone went everywhere with me. What if someone at work emailed me? What if a family member called or text me? It started off as serving a purpose to keep me in touch just in case. Over time, my phone’s purpose shifted into a never-ending stream of information with a couple taps on the glass screen.

It’s distracting, and something I’ve tried cutting back on, but regardless the idea of checking one more thing, just real quick, turns into a tuned out dinner or missed time playing with kids because I wanted to snap a photo and noticed I had Twitter notifications.

With the watch, I’m still connected, just in case something happens with one of my kids or with one of the many outlets I write for. I’m no longer tethered to my phone, and it’s liberating.

It’s still not a phone replacement

Part of the reason the Apple Watch Series 3 provides that peace of mind is because it’s not a phone replacement. Apps are miniature, incomplete versions of the phone counterpart – and there’s not a single thing wrong with that. I’d much prefer to have notifications to keep tabs on certain things, than have a full-fledged Facebook or email app on my wrist that requires far too much interaction just to view a message.

Here’s the kicker

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Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

If the Apple Watch ever does gain enough functionality and battery life to become a full-fledged phone replacement, Apple’s AirPods and the Watch are all you need to stay connected. Well, any Bluetooth connected headphones would work but aren’t nearly as streamlined and portable as the AirPods.

A few days into using the Apple Watch, it dawned on me – everything I need to stay always connected fits in the palm of my hand. Not in the same way a smartphone fits in the palm of your hand, but these two relatively small devices when paired together have just as much connectivity as an iPhone. It still boggles my mind that technology has reached this point, where we can all start to feel a bit more like Maxwell Smart, only with better-looking gadgets (and hopefully a tad smarter).

Business potential

As a group of ZDNet and TechRepublic editors discussed shortly after the Apple event where the always-connected wearable was announced, Apple is doing a fantastic job of positioning the watch as a health device.

But now that the watch has the potential to always be connected, doors are opening for enterprise developers to create apps and services that take advantage of the platform. Just what comes from the added connectivity is yet to be seen, as limited battery life on a cellular connection is sure to be a limiting factor.

Some rough ideas I’ve pondered about include an app to track employee location in a resort, with alerts delivered to the wrist for guest room numbers or locations, or possibly keeping tabs on warehouse employees.

If future versions of the watch are able to achieve all-day battery life when the watch is only connected to a cellular connection, then the possibilities and potential for enterprise apps is huge.

Worth the monthly cost?

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A new cell tower icon is present on the Apple Watch Series 3’s control center.

Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

There’s no question the Series 3 watch is leaps and bounds better than the original Apple Watch, and to some extent, the same rings true when put up against last year’s Series 2 model.

The real question about the Series 3 with cellular is whether or not the $10 a month is worth paying. For me, I’m still on the fence. On one hand, I see the value of being able to untether from my iPhone in certain situations. Then, on the other hand, I feel guilty that my need to constantly stay updated with the outside world forces me to pay for yet another device when with some practice and self-control I should be able to put my phone down.

Either way, I’m going to use the three-month free trial AT&T provided when I set up my watch, and then make a decision. Right now, I’m leaning towards paying the $10 a month.

If I end up canceling the cellular portion, I still have the best smartwatch available right now, and because I’ll disable the cellular radio, it will have a longer battery life than my Series 2 did. As CNET’s Scott Stein has been sharing on Twitter, he’s found the battery of the Series 3 with cellular to last two days of full use when cellular is disabled.